Jack Buono, a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy who worked his way up from deck officer to president of Exxon Mobil affiliate SeaRiver Maritime Inc., will take command as the new superintendent at USMMA Nov. 9.

“As a Kings Point graduate who spent his entire career in maritime leadership roles, Mr. Buono will help educate and inspire the next generation of maritime cadets,” said U.S. Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby in announcing the appointment Friday.

Jack Buono will take command as the new superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Nov. 9, 2018. USMMA Alumni Association photo.

Jack Buono will take command as the new superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Nov. 9, 2018. USMMA Alumni Association photo.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Buono graduated from the academy with a degree in marine transportation. Commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, where he served for 11 years, Buono went to work for ExxonMobil as a licensed third mate. After rising to unlimited master mariner in 1986, Buono transferred ashore in 1991 and rose through management positions to become president and CEO of Houston –based SeaRiver until he retired in July 2016 after 38 years with ExxonMobil.

Over the course of his career Buono also chaired the Board of International Marine Transportation Limited, an ExxonMobil subsidiary in Singapore, as well as the ExxonMobil Global Marine Center providing commercial, technical, and operations functional guidance to ExxonMobil affiliates throughout the world on shipping and marine transportation.

After retiring from ExxonMobil, Buono continued to serve as chairman of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) North America Regional Committee and as a trustee with the Coast Guard Foundation and the Webb Institute, the naval architecture and marine engineering college in Glen Cove, N.Y.

“Jack Buono is the ideal candidate to take the Academy to the next level,” said. Buzby.  “He has impeccable credentials on the waterfront and, as an alumnus, fully understands the Academy’s mission to provide its students with the highest caliber of training and education needed to lead afloat and ashore.”

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York is one of the five federal service academies.  This year, it celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding in September 1943 during World War II to provide the nation with a steady source of highly trained merchant marine officers and naval reserve officers.

Today, graduates serve not only in the commercial merchant marine, but also on active duty in all branches of the armed forces.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is responsible for overseeing the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, including the hiring of key Academy positions.  During the process for selecting a new superintendent Buono met with midshipmen, faculty, and staff at USMMA and with alumni and industry leaders, according to Marad officials.



Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.